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Ineos, Solvay Submit Concessions in EU Joint-Venture Review

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Oct. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Ineos Group Holdings and Solvay SA, Europe’s two biggest makers of polyvinyl chloride, submitted concessions to European Union regulators examining their 4.3 billion-euro ($5.8 billion) PVC joint venture.

The European Commission extended its deadline to rule on the deal until Nov. 5, according to a filing on its website. The Brussels-based regulator didn’t comment on what the companies offered. Concessions to resolve antitrust concerns can include the sale of units or changes to the way companies do business.

The merger of the two companies’ PVC assets, announced in May, would allow the companies to cut costs in areas from transport to marketing and raise profitability at a commodity business suffering from inflated raw material and energy costs. The PVC industry is facing overcapacity and weak demand in Europe, prompting companies in the labor-intensive and power-hungry industry to explore mergers.

Solvay and Ineos may sell a PVC-production plant in Germany to help win regulatory approval for the deal, according to two people familiar with the matter last month. Strategic Value Partners LLC’s Vestolit GmbH is among bidders for the site in Schkopau, Germany, which is valued at about 60 million euros, two people said earlier this month.

Caroline Jacobs, a spokeswoman for Brussels-based Solvay, declined to comment on the merger-review process. Ineos didn’t immediately respond to a call and an e-mail seeking comment.

Solvay has said it plans to exit the PVC venture at a later stage.

To contact the reporter on this story: Aoife White in Brussels at awhite62@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net

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